Women’s Wellness: The Hysterectomy Decision

From Mayo Clinic News Network
Mayo Clinic News Network

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Studies have shown that, when possible, vaginal hysterectomy is the preferred approach. This is the most minimally invasive approach and associated with a fast return to normal activities and improved quality of life. This article covers several approaches to the surgery.

Mayo Clinic News Network

You need a hysterectomy … what approach is best for you?

One of the most frequently performed surgical procedures in the U.S. is the hysterectomy. There are many different approaches to completion of this surgery, including vaginal, laparoscopic, robotic and abdominal. Each method has differences that can make it either the right or wrong choice for you.

Important considerations when deciding how your uterus should be removed include why you’re having a hysterectomy, what surgeries you’ve had previously, and if additional procedures will be performed at the time of your hysterectomy. The most important thing to consider when deciding on the route of hysterectomy is how to get the maximum benefit while minimizing your risks.

VAGINAL HYSTERECTOMY
During a vaginal hysterectomy, the uterus is removed through the vagina. There are no incisions on your abdomen.

Studies have shown that, when possible, vaginal hysterectomy is the preferred approach. This is the most minimally invasive approach and associated with a fast return to normal activities and improved quality of life. When comparing vaginal hysterectomy to laparoscopic hysterectomy, a vaginal approach has a faster surgical time and shorter hospital stay. This is the most cost-effective method and associated with better outcomes. Therefore, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that whenever feasible, vaginal hysterectomy is the approach of choice.

In order to successfully perform a vaginal hysterectomy, the uterus must be accessible through the vagina. Prior vaginal deliveries or utero-vaginal prolapse increase the likelihood of being able to successfully perform a vaginal hysterectomy. However, if you have not had a prior vaginal delivery or have had previous cesarean deliveries, you may still be a candidate for a vaginal hysterectomy.

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